Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Japanese slugger Munetaka Murakami makes NPB home run history with 55th blast of 2022 season

Munetaka Murakami, a 22-year-old third baseman with the Yakult Swallows, tied Sadaharu Oh’s single-season Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) home run record for Japanese-born players on Tuesday. Murakami homered twice, giving him 55 home runs on the season, and drove in four runs in a 9-7 loss against the Yomiuri Giants….

NPB’s overall single-season home-run record belongs to former Seattle Mariners outfielder Wladimir Balentien, who homered 60 times during the 2013 season. Balentien also played for the Swallows, meaning the path ahead of Murakami is similar to the one being traversed by New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge. (Judge is attempting to break Roger Maris’ franchise and American League single-season record for home runs.)

Murakami entered Tuesday hitting .333/.469/.747 with 53 home runs, 128 runs batted in, and nearly as many walks (105) as strikeouts (108). He was averaging a home run every 8.2 at-bats; for reference, Judge is averaging one every 9.2 at-bats.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 13, 2022 at 10:35 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japanese baseball, npb

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. weiss-man Posted: September 13, 2022 at 03:44 PM (#6095965)
OK, so when does he become available to MLB teams?
   2. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 13, 2022 at 03:55 PM (#6095969)
OK, so when does he become available to MLB teams?


From an article on MLB.com:

"Japanese baseball observers don’t expect the Swallows to make Murakami available to MLB teams through the posting process anytime soon."

The Swallows won the Japan Series last season, and are in first place again this season. They are historically not one of the powers in NPB, and want to take advantage of this window of opportunity to put up some more flags. They want to win, and the chance of them letting their best player walk away is very small right now.
   3. Darren Posted: September 13, 2022 at 05:47 PM (#6095992)
This guy is cool. I hope he breaks the record, if not this year, then in the next few
   4. Hombre Brotani Posted: September 13, 2022 at 07:07 PM (#6096003)
That guy is a beast. Serious Travis Hafner vibes from him.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: September 13, 2022 at 07:27 PM (#6096005)
Now that's not a comp you see every day. I know you don't mean that in an "after throrough analysis, using my super-secret model" sense but Hafner's just always an interesting player to think about. He's one of the all-time best late bloomers -- made the majors at 25, had a nice half season at 26, went absolutely nuts for three years of pretty much full-time play -- led MLB in SLG, OPS and OPS+ in 2006 -- then turned back into a solid but pretty average platoon (or fragile) DH, it finally all fell apart at age 36.

If we want an age-based, grab-your-attention comp, then Yordan Alvarez is the name we want.
   6. Hombre Brotani Posted: September 13, 2022 at 07:41 PM (#6096010)
Now that's not a comp you see every day. I know you don't mean that in an "after throrough analysis, using my super-secret model" sense but Hafner's just always an interesting player to think about.
I meant it in a "he's a big thick lefty who stands with his hands up and away from his body, and mashes baseballs 400 feet on the regular."
   7. John Northey Posted: September 13, 2022 at 11:43 PM (#6096040)
I suspect his only way to the majors before he is around 30 (10 years to free agency in Japan) is by forcing the issue with the club. Basically make it painfully clear he wants to play in the majors and that he will say so at every opportunity if they don't do something.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: September 14, 2022 at 01:59 AM (#6096045)
#6: Fair enough. I was focusing on the "beast" part. Hands aside (je ne sais pas), I think Alvarez at 6-5, "225" qualifies as big and thick too. Anyway, wasn't questioning the comp.
   9. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 14, 2022 at 07:49 AM (#6096049)
I suspect his only way to the majors before he is around 30 (10 years to free agency in Japan) is by forcing the issue with the club. Basically make it painfully clear he wants to play in the majors and that he will say so at every opportunity if they don't do something.

Agree, and I certainly don't blame him if he wants to continue playing in Japan. But he'll need to come over much sooner if he wants to see what he can do in MLB. The track record for NPB power hitters was not good before Ohtani, who of course came over very young relative to other Japanese players.
   10. Accent Shallow is still reading xi as squiggle Posted: September 14, 2022 at 10:57 AM (#6096063)
Agree, and I certainly don't blame him if he wants to continue playing in Japan. But he'll need to come over much sooner if he wants to see what he can do in MLB. The track record for NPB power hitters was not good before Ohtani, who of course came over very young relative to other Japanese players.


Hideki Matsui was the only really successful one, right? And even he went from a monster in Japan to a ~25 HR hitter here.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: September 14, 2022 at 07:03 PM (#6096141)
Matsui had 175 HRs in MLB and 332 in NPB for 507 career which is nice. At some point, I figured he might have been McGriff if he'd been in MLB the whole time:

HM 29-36 4400 PA 290/369/479, 123 OPS+, 161 HR, 22 WAR, 6.5 WAA
FM 29-36 5000 PA 291/374/501, 125 OPS+, 226 HR, 19 WAR, 3 WAA

Some of the HR gap is just playing time, maybe a bit is context but most of it is real -- Matsui hit a lot of doubles in those early years. The playing time difference and that Fred had two good years left while Matsui had nothing left suggest that Fred aged significantly better and so was probably the better player in their 20s too.

So similar but not quite as good a hitter as McGriff 29-36 suggests he might have been similar but not quite as good a hitter as McGriff for 23-28. But that Fred had a 154 OPS+ with 191 HRs so that still leaves plenty of room for Matsui to have been a very good hitter with maybe 150 HRs. So call it 325 career HRs, maybe 450 doubles with a 130 OPS+. That's Matt Holliday.

HM 29-36 4400 PA 290/369/479, 123 OPS+, 161 HR, 22 WAR, 6.5 WAA
MH 29-36 4500 PA 292/379/491, 136 OPS+, 167 HR, 26 WAR, 12 WAA

Hmmm ... close on rates and HRs but those contexts differ a lot more than I would have thought. The difference is not defense (-7.7 dWAR vs -7.6). Still, close enough for government work.
   12. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 14, 2022 at 08:40 PM (#6096160)
So, he's already signed by the Yankees, right?
   13. Miserable, Non-Binary Candy is all we deserve CoB Posted: September 15, 2022 at 01:23 PM (#6096266)
I believe it's 9 years of accrued NPB service time to become an unrestricted free agent.
This is what The Ringer article on Murakami and Sasaki has to say on the subject.

To qualify as an international free agent—which the 29-year-old Senga could become this winter—an NPB player needs nine years of service, which Murakami and Sasaki are nowhere near. What’s more, MLB’s CBA dictates that international players who are younger than 25 or have less than six years of service are subject to the international bonus pool system. Even if Murakami or Sasaki could convince their NPB teams to post them before they clear those thresholds, the players would make a tiny fraction of what they’re worth, as Ohtani did when he signed with the Angels before his age-23 season. Moreover, their NPB teams would receive meager compensation for letting them go. In other words, Murakami and Sasaki are NPB players for the long haul.

How long? Although Sasaki’s status as a coveted draftee likely gave him the leverage to work out an arrangement whereby Chiba Lotte would post him when he wants to go, Allen estimates that Sasaki won’t enter MLB until 2027, a few months after his 25th birthday. He envisions Murakami crossing over at the same time, as he embarks on his age-27 season (like Seiya Suzuki this year). Coskrey says he could see Murakami making the leap sooner, in the next three to four seasons, though he also expects Sasaki’s transition to take five or six. So, settle in for a protracted wait.


I think the key point is not the 9 years, but rather the <25 and less than 6 years service time, after that threshold, their NPB teams could post them (in opening bidding with no $20 million cap, as there was with Ohtani) and receive a posting fee that is based on a percentage of the contract that the player signs.

https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2022/9/15/23354090/munetaka-murakami-roki-sasaki-npb-baseball-japan

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Adam S
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT - 2022 NFL thread Part II
(321 - 7:55am, Feb 03)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

Newsblog2023 NBA Regular Season Thread
(288 - 7:50am, Feb 03)
Last: Dolf Lucky

NewsblogJohn Adams, Who Banged His Drum in the Cleveland Bleachers, Has Died
(14 - 1:12am, Feb 03)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

Hall of MeritRanking Right Fielders in the Hall of Merit - Discussion thread
(42 - 10:46pm, Feb 02)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMLB expansion: Nashville group led by Dave Stewart makes a pitch for Music City [$]
(25 - 10:40pm, Feb 02)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s Back to Club Football We Go
(355 - 10:09pm, Feb 02)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Sultan

NewsblogEx-girlfriend alleges Mets outfielder assaulted her in Syracuse; warrant, lawsuit target player
(7 - 10:00pm, Feb 02)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Sultan

Hall of MeritRanking Left Fielders in the Hall of Merit - Discussion thread
(94 - 6:37pm, Feb 02)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogOrioles to decline 5-year Camden Yards lease extension, seek to secure long-term agreement
(3 - 3:58pm, Feb 02)
Last: jingoist

Hall of MeritReranking Left Fielders Ballot
(20 - 3:38pm, Feb 02)
Last: Tiboreau

NewsblogMLB Network Exits YouTube TV Ahead of Spring Training After Contract Dispute
(50 - 3:21pm, Feb 02)
Last: JL72

Sox TherapyUpdates
(96 - 2:28pm, Feb 02)
Last: Darren

NewsblogHow to Watch the Caribbean Series
(3 - 11:27am, Feb 02)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Sultan

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(2641 - 5:42am, Feb 02)
Last: aberg

NewsblogBaseball Hall of Fame tracker 2023
(740 - 9:25pm, Feb 01)
Last: DL from MN

Page rendered in 0.2728 seconds
45 querie(s) executed